ONTARIO – Authorities are attempting to identify the motive for the detonation of two explosive devices inside an Ontario Sam’s Club on Thursday afternoon.
On April 5, 2018, at around 2:08 p.m. police were dispatched to the Sam’s Club store located at 951 North Milliken Avenue in the City of Ontario for the report of a fire. After arriving they learned that the fire was a result of an explosive device that was detonated. The male suspect fled the store prior to the police arriving, but he was located fleeing in a Honda Civic. Officers attempted to stop the Honda but the driver continued on, leading officers on a short pursuit before pulling over. The male suspect, identified as Hugo Gonzalez, 49, of Fontana, was arrested without further incident. The vehicle was searched and additional materials were found.
Authorities believe that Gonzalez acted alone. A search warrant was served on his home in the 16500 block of Arrow Boulevard in the City of Fontana. A second apartment was also searched. Authorities said that during the search they located materials used to manufacture similar devices, but no additional devices were located. “The Ontario Fire Department Bomb Squad conducted a thorough search of the store and concluded that two explosive devices had detonated on opposite sides of the store,” Ontario Police officials said. “The explosions ignited products within close proximity. Sam’s Club employees acted quickly and used fire extinguishers to put out the flames.”
The searches of the SAM’s Club and two apartment units were concluded at around 1:30 a.m.“Gonzalez has been interviewed but has not provided police with a motive for the incident,” Ontario Police officials added. “Investigators have no indication that he is linked to any criminal organization and he is not believed to be on a terrorist watch list. He is not a SAM’s Club employee and police have not gotten any information as to why he chose to detonate the devices at this store.”
Gonzalez is now being held at the West Valley Detention Center in lieu of $1 million bail for Arson, Possession of a Destructive Device, and Ignition of a Destructive Device. This investigation is on-going. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Ontario Police Department at 909-986-6711 or Detective Josh Burks at 909-395-2912.
Information can also be reported anonymously by calling WE-TIP at 800-78-CRIME or on-line at www.wetip.com.
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